Catherine McKenna is the founder and principal of Climate and Nature Solutions and launched “Women Leading on Climate” at COP26 in Glasgow last November. As Canada’s first Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, she was a lead negotiator of the Paris Agreement before introducing and successfully defending landmark legislation that established a carbon price across Canada. She also led efforts to phase out coal and established Canada’s first Just Transition Taskforce for workers and communities, reduce plastics in oceans and waterways, and double the amount of nature protected in Canada in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
As Minister of Environment and Climate Change, McKenna helped establish a number of international initiatives including the Powering Past Coal Coalition (with Canada, the UK, and Bloomberg Philanthropies), the Ministerial on Climate Action (MOCA), the Women Kicking it on Climate Summit and the Nature Champions Summit. McKenna was Co-Chair of the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, and helped develop the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter. She has worked closely with members of the Obama and Biden administrations on Canada-US and international climate and infrastructure agreements and policy.
As Minister of Infrastructure and Communities she made historic investments in public transit and green and resilient infrastructure, leveraged private sector investment to get more public infrastructure built through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and led the development of Canada’s first National Infrastructure Assessment to drive Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050.
She was recently appointed as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy in partnership with the new Columbia Climate School, where she is working on practical solutions to help scale climate action.